Body Image, Self-Love & Embodiment

How distinguishing Self Awareness from Self Consciousness can help you?

Women have lots of feelings around Valentine’s Day.
Whether they have a partner or not at the moment, women tend to have some ideas of how they want to be loved, especially on that day.

Many set themselves up for disappointment in relationships because they are not loved the way they themselves like to love, not realizing that everyone has a different way to express love. Gary Chapman wrote many books showing how learning the 5 Love Languages can help many couples start their relationship on the right foot or come back to a balanced way to express love and feel loved.

This being said, my experience is that the more you can love yourself, the less you fuss about others’ ways to express their love to you. If you do not have a partner at the moment, do you ever take the time to nurture yourself? Buying flowers to yourself or your favorite chocolates, or indulging in a warm bubble bath with music in the background and a few candles to keep it cozy? Or whatever speaks to you personally!

I used to be so self-conscious about my compact body when I was younger that in the summer, I would hide behind a long skirt or pants and a shawl despite feeling too warm when others enjoyed wearing sleeveless tops and shorts. Over the years, as I have develop deeper embodiment through self-awareness, I became embodied in an integrated way. As a result, I have shed layers of self-consciousness and have been able to help women, including yoga teachers, be more embodied in an integrated way as well. Self-awareness and integrated embodiment lead to increased confidence, self-acceptance & self-love!

Developing self-love is key to personal self-care. Of course, it is nice to be given flowers in celebration of a relationship, but again, can you lovingly celebrate yourself before expecting someone else to lovingly celebrate you?

And if self-acceptance and self-love is still a challenge, why do you think that is?
Do you feel comfortable in your body? Or are you self-conscious about it?
Do you judge your whole body on account of one aspect of it that displeases you?
Or are you aware of imperfections and yet choose to not let them spoil how you feel about yourself?

When I teach in a Yoga teacher training course, I always work with Body Image and Self-Love. What I found out is that because of the culture we live in, most women grew up with and still carry poor body image and need to work on increasing their level of self-love. One time, all of the 10 women in the training were highly emotional when faced with this body image topic, no matter how beautiful or fit they may look to others.

When you focus on “Integrated Functioning” of mind, body, heart, and soul, you develop self-awareness while shedding self-consciousness. In this reparenting process, you help these underlying and often younger parts of your psyche that feel pain, shame, or guilt to evolve emotionally. As they feel seen, heard, understood and loved, they mature, and you feel better, more whole and confident within yourself.

Kinesthetic Artwork by Cécile Raynor

Integrated Functioning Tip for Body Acceptance

Let go of self-consciousness and embrace self-awareness instead. Love your imperfections as part of your perfection. The imperfections of the woman on the painting does not take away from the beauty and self-confidence she exudes. Do they?

You can evolve in that way as well.

Integrated functioning through deeper awareness of all of who you are is key to success on this human journey!

If you need help with this, feel free to join the next experiential workshop or sign up for a free consult to investigate together where you are at, where you want to be, and what is needed for you to get there! Till then, be well!

Cécile Raynor has been teaching for 30 years, published the Wise Way to Yoga as well as numerous articles, and she was featured several times both on TV and on an “Expanded Awareness” radio show. Her blog has been read by thousands of people in over 100 different countries. Her work is based on the Alexander Technique, the best-kept secret of Olympic athletes and famous performers. They swear by it because it allows them to perform at their best with optimal safety. Although it is now commonly used by everyone. She also created the Body Intelligence Activation Process™, a mind, body, heart and spirit work that affects her students in all aspects of their life as they experience increased wellbeing.

Cécile has been helping people with poor posture, chronic muscular tension and pain, joints issues and headaches reclaim their ease of movement, their natural good posture, and the joy and peace of mind brought by well-being. She has also been a mentor for many students interested in embodied and integrated personal growth.

Cécile can be reached by responding to this blog or by contacting her through her website